The Kansas City Chiefs began the new campaign with a victory on Sunday, defeating the Arizona Cardinals in dominant fashion at State Farm Stadium.
Here are 10 quick notes from the game.
1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was nothing short of brilliant.
Mahomes was simply exceptional on Sunday, completing 30-of-39 passes for 360 yards and five touchdowns. It marked the sixth five-touchdown game of Mahomes' career, making him only the sixth quarterback in league history to record six or more performances with 5+ scoring strikes. Mahomes joined Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Dan Marino on that list, doing so in only his 64th career game.
Looking a bit further, the performance also marked Mahomes' fourth-career game with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He already has the sixth-most such games in NFL history, trailing only Tom Brady (8), Drew Brees (8), Ben Roethlisberger (5), Peyton Manning (5) and Aaron Rodgers (5).
Additionally, Mahomes continued his remarkable stretch of excellence in season-openers. In fact, according to CBS Sports, Mahomes became the first quarterback in NFL history to record three or more touchdown passes in five consecutive season openers (2018-22) on Sunday.
Mahomes now owns 18 total touchdown passes in season openers in his career (4 in 2018, 3 in 2019, 3 in 2020, 3 in 2021 and 5 in 2022). His five career games with three or more touchdown passes in Week 1 are the fourth-most by a quarterback since at least 1950. The only players to have more are Tom Brady (9), Dan Marino (7) and Drew Brees (6).
2. Tight end Travis Kelce continues to approach some all-time history.
Kelce led all pass-catchers on Sunday with eight grabs for 121 yards, marking the 30th 100-yard performance of his career. That total is the third-best by a tight end in NFL history, trailing only Rob Gronkowski (32) and Tony Gonzalez (31).
Furthermore, Kelce now has the third-most 100-yard games among all players since 2016 (28). Only Davante Adams (31) and Julio Jones (31) have more 100-yard games in that span.
Kelce also found the end zone on Sunday, breaking a tie with wide receiver Otis Taylor for the second-most receiving touchdowns (58) in franchise history. Only Gonzalez, who found the end zone 76 times during his career with the Chiefs, tallied more for the red and gold.
3. Tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire found the end zone twice.
Much has been made about how Edwards-Helaire feels fully healthy entering this season for the first time since his rookie campaign, and it showed on Sunday. The third-year running back amassed 74 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 10 touches during the game while also tallying a handful of chunk plays. One of those plays took place on the Chiefs' opening drive, when Edwards-Helaire took a carry and galloped 18 yards into Cardinals' territory. Then, on the Chiefs' next possession, Edwards-Helaire caught a short pass before picking up 25 yards downfield. It was all part of a strong game that will hopefully be the first of many for the former first-round pick in 2022.
Another player who put together an impressive performance out of the backfield was rookie tailback Isiah Pacheco, who rushed for a team-leading 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts.
4. In total, nine different players caught a pass for Kansas City on Sunday.
Throughout the offseason training program, Mahomes consistently preached his intention to spread the football all over the place in 2022. Well, with one game now in the books, it's clear he meant what he said.
Mahomes found nine different pass-catchers for completions on Sunday, connecting with tight end Travis Kelce eight times for 121 yards, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster six times for 79 yards, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling four times for 44 yards, tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire three times for 32 yards, wide receiver Skyy Moore once for 30 yards, tailback Jerick McKinnon three times for 27 yards, wide receiver Mecole Hardman three times for 16 yards, tight end Noah Gray once for 10 yards and tight end Jody Fortson once for one yard.
It was an offensive approach that proved difficult to stop and will likely be the model moving forward.
5. The Chiefs piled up 33 first downs and averaged 7.4 yards-per-play.
Kansas City was both effective and efficient on offense against Arizona, amassing 488 net yards and 33 first downs while averaging 7.4 yards-per-play. In fact, of the Chiefs' 66 offensive snaps, 14 of those plays – or 21 percent – picked up at least 15 yards. Kansas City recorded more 15-yard plays than any other team in Week 1.
The Chiefs were also tremendously efficient in the red zone, converting all six of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns. No other team visited the red zone more often in Week 1, and the Chiefs scored every time.
6. The defense held Arizona to 3-of-12 on third down.
The Cardinals struggled mightily on third down during Sunday's game, converting just three of 12 chances. At just 25 percent, Arizona converted its third down chances at its lowest rate since 2020 and at the fifth-worst rate of the Kyler Murray era (min. 10 chances).
7. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap recorded his first sack as a member of the Chiefs.
Dunlap, who entered this season with the eighth-most sacks (96) among all active players, added to that total on Sunday in his first outing with the Chiefs. The veteran pass-rusher brought down Cardinals' quarterback Kyler Murray for a loss of 11 yards early in the third quarter, pushing his career sack tally to 97.
Dunlap was one of three players to record a sack on the day, joining cornerback L'Jarius Sneed and defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton.
8. Safety Justin Reid showed off his versatility in a much-needed way.
Reid was called upon in a pinch on Sunday following an injury to kicker Harrison Butker, and despite the short notice, the veteran safety came through. He connected on 1-of-2 extra points and handled kickoffs for the majority of the game, consistently holding his own.
Remarkably, Butker managed to return late in the first half and connect on a 54-yard field goal. The kick – which extended the Chiefs' lead in the closing seconds of the second quarter – was the 21st successful field goal of Butker's young career that traveled 50+ yards, setting a franchise record.
9. Linebacker Nick Bolton racked up a team-leading 10 tackles.
Bolton, who is set to man a considerable role this season as the on-field defensive play-caller, began his season in strong fashion on Sunday with a team-leading 10 tackles.
It was the fourth 10-tackle performance of Bolton's young career. In fact, just last year, Bolton became the ninth rookie since 2000 – and the first since 2018 – to record 110+ tackles and 10+ tackles-for-loss. Already 10 tackles on his resume this year, the sophomore linebacker is already off to another great start.
10. It all helped the Chiefs win the season-opener for an eighth-straight season.
The Chiefs have won eight consecutive season-openers dating back to 2015, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Kanas City has outscored its opponents 291-198 (+93) in those eight wins.
The Chiefs will now quickly turn their attention to the Los Angeles Chargers for a divisional tilt on Thursday Night Football looms in just a few days. Catch the game on Prime Video at 7:15 p.m. CT.